Changes to masking in our long-term care homes
The Ministry of Long-Term Care is taking the next step in a phased approach to embedding COVID-19 response measures for long-term care homes into routine operations. With this step, we will see changes to our masking requirements starting Friday, June 30, 2023.
For our staff, students, volunteers, DCPs, and support workers
Masks will be optional, except in the following situations:
- When determined to be needed based on a point-of-care risk assessment. For example, if a resident is coughing or sneezing, staff may choose to wear a mask when caring for them.
- Compassionate care means donning a mask whenever asked by a resident. Residents or their substitute decision maker can request masks be worn by our care teams and have a ‘mask required’ sign put up outside the resident’s room. This signage will signal our care teams to…
- Wear a mask when providing care in the room
- Wear a mask when providing prolonged direct resident care or interactions (defined as one-on-one care within two metres of an individual for 15 minutes or longer), when in other areas of the home.
- When required based on the return-to-work protocol following respiratory illness or COVID-19 infection.
- In outbreak situations, or if a resident is on additional precautions, all individuals are required to comply with masking and other personal protective equipment requirements as directed by the outbreak management team and the local public health unit.
Bruyère campuses continue to be mask friendly environments, and masks will continue to be available at our entrances and in the home areas. We each have our own factors to consider when putting on a mask. Everyone on our campuses are welcome to continue doing this as a standard practice.
If you are a resident or the substitute decision maker for a resident, and you want our care teams to continue wearing masks when providing care in the room or for prolonged direct resident care or interactions in other home areas, please let us know by contacting the home. With this request, we will have a sign placed on the door of your loved one’s room to notify our care teams.
For our caregivers and visitors
Masks are recommended, but not required, in all areas of the home. This means that caregivers and visitors may now share a meal or beverage in designated communal areas.
Masking is also no longer required for group activities, although it continues to be recommended. Measures such as hand hygiene and attendance tracking will remain in place for centralized group activities.
In outbreak situations, or if a resident is on additional precautions, all individuals are required to comply with masking and other personal protective equipment requirements as directed by the outbreak management team and the local public health unit.
Webinars for residents, families and caregivers will be provided in collaboration with the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC) and Family Councils Ontario (FCO) at the times listed below.
For family members and caregivers: Tuesday, July 4 at 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (click here to register)
For LTC residents: Wednesday, July 5 at 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (click here to register)
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
These measures will be revisited should the province enter a high-risk period of respiratory virus transmission, such as during the fall respiratory virus season.